Students at Eli Whitney Technical HS stage protest in response to ‘pattern’ of sexual harassment within school

New Haven

HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — At least 100 students at Eli Whitney Technical High School staged a protest and walkout Monday morning after serious allegations of sexual harassment and threats of violence inside the school.

The students told News 8 they are protesting what they call a “pattern of sexual harassment within the school.” Several young women at the protest are alleging they are victims of the harassment and claim it has happened for years.

Students say freshman girls have been the target of unwanted sexual advances and lewd comments for years. The protestors say, one student, a senior boy, is responsible.

The high school is a state career high school that attracts students from eight surrounding towns, but for the last four years, female students allege they have been followed home, asked for sexual favors, and threatened with violence when they said ‘no’. The girls say they went to school administrators for help, but that the alleged abuse continued.

Aaliyah, a senior, described, “We showed them screenshots of everything, pictures of what he would do, all the fake messages he would say. And they still wouldn’t believe us.”

“He would text me weird stuff and how if I didn’t want to talk to him, he’d say he wanted to kill himself,” said a sophomore female student.

“He would push himself on me, he would be like, ‘nobody needs to know,'” said a female freshman student.

“He tried to kiss me and I ended up pushing him,” said another student.

“He would take pictures of my house and say ‘I’m outside your house,'” another recalled.

News 8 went to the state for answers.

In a statement, the Connecticut Technical Education and Career System said they can’t comment on the issue at hand, “however, the safety and security of the Eli Whitney School community is our top priority, as are the concerns of our students. We are currently working with our students and families to listen to and address the concerns that led to the student gathering this morning, and to ensure that learning continues uninterrupted.”

In a follow-up email, CTECS said school staff notified police of the allegations and met with students as soon they knew of the allegations.

When asked about past allegations, the new CTECS superintendent said action is being taken now.

The principal of the school plans to meet with students and families Tuesday night at 6 p.m.

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